2014 Schulich Leadership Scholarships

Two recent high school graduates, one from Victoria and one from a rural community in the BC Interior, have been selected to receive this year’s prestigious Schulich Leadership Scholarship for their undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria.

Created in 2011 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, the scholarships are awarded annually to 40 students in Canada pursuing undergraduate studies in STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The scholarship for engineering studies is $80,000 and $60,000 for the other areas of study.

Mohammed Abousaleh, Faculty of Engineering

Oak Bay High School

Mohammed Abousaleh’s work ethic not only resulted in an outstanding GPA of 100% at Oak Bay High School, the same dedicated approach is evident in volunteer activities at school and in the community. The scholarship recognizes his achievements as well as financial need.

The magnitude of the $80,000 scholarship actually landed the congratulatory email from the University of Victoria in Absouleh’s junk email box. He found out about the award when checking his UVic My Page Portal, a site that gives secure access to a range of information on the UVic network. The letter arrived through Canada Post the next day.

“I am very grateful for the award,” says Abousaleh. “This will give me the ability to pursue opportunities that might arise outside the classroom without the financial stress.”

Abousaleh’s attention to his school work did not preclude him from volunteering and helping others. At Oak Bay High, his community involvement included a lead role helping raise money for the Cops for Cancer campaign and during his earlier years at Kwantlen Park Secondary School in Surrey he participated in the Inter-A Program, a self-directed academic program that challenges students to set leadership and community-oriented goals. He also spent hundreds of hours with various math clubs as founder, leader, and tutor. His high school classmates voted the student council member to be their 2014 grad class valedictorian.

A member of the selection committee remarked that Abousaleh “has shown his peers and teachers what it is to be humble, yet driving, while also compassionate and helpful. It is Mohammed’s dedication, leadership, and hard work that distinguish his efforts from among his peers.”

Despite the demands of his academic and volunteer responsibilities, Abousaleh also worked part-time.


Joshua Stimpson – Science

Joshua Stimpson has been selected for a Schulich Leaders Scholarship for his achievements that demonstrate how the will to succeed and hard work can help overcome adversities.

Living in the remote rural community of Beaverdell in the southern BC Interior, Stimpson commuted 156 kilometres to and from Boundary Central Secondary School in Midway and didn’t let the three hours of daily bus travel deter him from participating in sports and volunteering.

Stimpson had an impressive GPA of 95.25% and received numerous awards for his accomplishments. He was involved in a variety of school sports, was a senior member of the Spirit Club, and involved in fundraising for his grad class activities. He assisted with community events and helped seniors with physical chores. He also undertook much of the physical work as well as other responsibilities at home as his father, a lone parent, suffers from debilitating physical disabilities as the result of a work-related injury. Given these latter circumstances, Stimpson also has demonstrated a resilience that will serve him well in his studies.

“I was shocked and thrilled when I found out I had received this scholarship. I am very grateful to the University of Victoria and Schulich foundation for the award,” said Stimpson.

Stimpson says that the financial assistance takes the pressure off trying to find and juggle a part-time job with his studies.  “This scholarship will make a tremendous difference.”

As one referee wrote, Stimpson “is exceptionally strong academically, motivated, excited to learn, and possesses a work ethic and desire to excel that is extraordinary … He has come to know that his own inner strength and personal goals have helped him in times of adversity and will continue to support him in the future.”

Secondary and high schools may submit one nominee each. Nominees must demonstrate two of the following attributes: academic excellence, outstanding community, business or entrepreneurial leadership, and financial need. The scholarships are payable over four years.

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Keywords: scholarship, funding

People: Mohammed Abousaleh, Joshua Stimpson

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